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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 26 May 2019

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Michael Gove set to join Tory leadership race

Michael Gove is due to enter the race for Tory leader. His candidacy will see him challenge his former Vote Leave ally Boris Johnson. Meanwhile, former Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, and former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom have launched their own leadership bids in the Sunday newspapers. Jeremy Hunt, Rory Stewart, Matt Hancock and Esther McVey are also in the race.

Vulnerable elderly patients have NHS funding withdrawn

Pensioners with progressive and crippling diseases are having NHS funding for their care withdrawn as part of controversial cost-cutting measures. The Sunday Telegraph reveals that more than 7,000 patients whose care and nursing fees were covered by the NHS have had their funding revoked, despite national rules stating that they should have the fees paid in full.

Ireland votes overwhelmingly for liberalising divorce laws

The Republic of Ireland has voted overwhelmingly in favour of liberalising divorce laws. A constitutional clause that states that spouses must be separated for four of the previous five years to divorce will be removed, allowing the Irish parliament to decide a new separation period before divorce is allowed. With two of 31 constituencies still to declare, voters had backed the change to the law by 82.1% to 17.9%.

British man becomes 10th to die on Everest in nine days

A British climber who died on Mount Everest is one of 10 people who have perished there in nine days. As record numbers of climbers are taking on the challenge, Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died during his descent in a low-oxygen area known as “death zone” after reaching the summit of the world's highest mountain. Guides have blamed congested routes for the recent death toll.

Tom Watson calls for Labour ‘backbone’ on Brexit

Labour’s deputy leader has warned that his party will lose the next general election unless it quickly rewrites its Brexit policy and commits wholeheartedly to a second referendum. Writing in The Observer, Tom Watson argues that Labour must develop “backbone” on the issue. He calls for the end of the party’s “mealy-mouthed” backing for another public vote.

Snapchat app is ‘a haven’ for sexual predators

Snapchat has become a “haven” for child abuse, claims The Sunday Times. There have been thousands of reported cases of child sexual exploitation involving Snapchat since 2014. These include predators using the app to obtain indecent images from children and groom teenagers, as well as cases in which under-18s have themselves spread child pornography through Snapchat.

Major review to call for university tuition fees to be slashed

University tuition fees and interest rates on student loans should both be cut, a report will recommend. The Augar review of higher education is expected to call for annual tuition fees to be cut from £9,250 to £7,500 and interest rates on student loans to be reduced from 6.3% to as little as 1.5%. The news comes after Damian Hinds, the education secretary, complained about “poor value” degrees.

Real IRA founder dies in prison from suspected heart attack

A founder of the Real IRA, who planned a bomb attack during Prince Charles’s visit to Ireland in 2015, has died in prison. Seamus McGrane, 64, died from a suspected heart attack while serving a jail sentence for directing terrorism. He was one of the dissident republicans in the Provisional IRA who led a walkout from the organisation’s “army convention” in October 1997.

Police search for man who held knife to toddler's throat

Police in Middlesbrough are searching for a mugger who held a knife to a toddler's throat while robbing the child's grandmother. The man emerged from the bushes and demanded the woman’s purse. When she refused to hand it over the man placed a knife against her grandson's throat. The incident happened between 5pm and 6pm on Friday.

Pope Frances compares abortion to hiring a hitman

Having an abortion is like “hiring a hitman”, claims Pope Francis. The Pontiff told an anti-abortion conference that a termination is never acceptable, even when the foetus is gravely ill or malformed. It is not the first time he has made such a strong claim. Last year, he was condemned after comparing an abortion to hiring a “contract killer”.

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